In Oklahoma, is it true that the wind often comes sweepin’ down the plains? Surely. Another thing that’s true: Oklahoma is one of the most affordable states in the country.
The state has gorgeous landscapes, between the sprawling prairies of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge to the flowing creeks of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. There are plenty of state parks and wildlife refuges to explore.
Just over 4 million “Okies” call Oklahoma home; it also happens to be home to the second-highest proportion of Native Americans in the country, and nearly half of the state is considered an Indian reservation.
If you’re considering moving to the Sooner State, you’ll want to know the cost of living in Oklahoma.
What’s the Average Cost of Living in Oklahoma?
Average Cost of Living in Oklahoma: $38,650 per year
Average Housing Costs in Oklahoma: $659 to $1,387 per month
In February 2023, Zillow gave a typical home value in Oklahoma of $183,733. That’s almost half the national median sale price of $359,000 the National Association of Realtors® reported for U.S. homes.
Homes in Oklahoma are cheaper than in the rest of the country, and they also fare better in terms of price appreciation. Like much of the country, Oklahoma’s average home values have been increasing since 2021. The state’s values rose by 8.8% over the past year, which is higher than the national average growth rate of 6.8%.
Below are the median mortgage and rental costs for homes in Oklahoma, according to the 2021 census data.
• Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,313
• Median studio rent: $659
• Median one-bedroom rent: $708
• Median two-bedroom rent: $840
• Median three-bedroom rent: $1,011
• Median four-bedroom rent: $1,221
• Median five-bedroom rent: $1,387
• Median gross rent: $855
Home values vary widely in Oklahoma. For example, a home in Oklahoma City can cost twice as much as one in a smaller city like Muskogee.
City in Oklahoma
Typical Home Price
*data as of January 2023
Utility Costs in Oklahoma
Average Utility Costs in Oklahoma: $397 per month
Below is a snapshot of the typical monthly utility costs that Oklahoma residents can expect to pay.
Actual results will depend on what type of property you own and where it’s located.
Average Oklahoma Bill
Cable & Internet
Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price, 2021; Inspirecleanenergy.com; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2022; and Rentcafe.com, What Is the Average Water Bill?
Groceries & Food
Average Grocery & Food Costs in Oklahoma: $230 per person, per month
Oklahoma actually has the lowest food and beverage costs of any state in the country, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ latest personal consumption expenditures data. Oklahomans pay an average of $230 per month, or $2,756 per year on non-restaurant food and beverages.
Where you live affects average food costs. For example, you can buy a steak at a supermarket for $13.92 in Muskogee, but that same steak would cost you $15.52 in Enid.
Average Transportation Costs in Oklahoma: $5,477 to $15,530 per year
Oklahoma used to be a thruway for the famed Route 66 when it was still in service; today it remains a popular destination for road warriors from all over.
You’ll want to keep an eye on transportation costs if you’re thinking about moving to Oklahoma, especially since its auto insurance rates run high.
Transportation costs will vary depending on your commute and the size of your family. Here are costs from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator for different family sizes, based on data from 2023.
Average Annual Transportation Cost
One adult, no children
Two working adults, no children
Two working adults, three children
Average Health Care Costs in Oklahoma: $6,878 per person, per year
Oklahomans spend an average of $6,878 per year on health care, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Compared with Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, Oklahoma’s health care costs fall near the middle of the pack.
If you’re looking for affordable health insurance in Oklahoma, you can shop for and compare health insurance plans using the federal marketplace at healthcare.gov .
Average Child Care Costs in Oklahoma: $739 to $1,318 per child, per month
Child care costs take up a healthy chunk of any family’s monthly budget, and the costs can change depending on the age of a child and the setting.
When factoring in property, sales, and use taxes, Oklahoma has a below-average tax burden, with an effective state-local tax rate of 9%. It ranks 10th best on taxfoundation.org’s rankings of local tax burdens by state; “tax burden” measures the aggregate impact of all taxes levied by state and local governments, as recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Oklahoma had a lower tax burden than nearby New Mexico and Arizona, but its southern neighbor, Texas, came out one rank ahead, with a slightly lower effective tax rate of 8.6%.
Now that we’ve tackled the everyday expenses for living in Oklahoma, let’s take a look at the costs of some of the state’s greatest attractions.
• Adult admission to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City: $15
• Pair of Western cowboy boots: $95.99 to $1,089.99
• Tickets to the rodeo: $25 to $35
• Ten-gallon hat: $59.99 to $1,020
• Chicken fried steak: ~$13
If you’ve always been a fan of the Lone Ranger, Will Rogers, or Ben Johnson, you can buy your very own set of cowboy boots and Stetson hat and live out your cowboy fantasies at the rodeo in Guthrie.
While wandering out yonder, you might want to stop for a plate of the official state meal: chicken fried steak, fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, sausage and gravy, grits, squash, corn, black-eyed peas, strawberries, and pecan pie. Oklahoma state law actually codified this combination in 1988.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Oklahoma?
MIT’s Living Wage Calculator lists the “living wage” for a single individual in Oklahoma as $32,219 per year, or $15.49 per hour. Obviously this figure will vary depending on personal consumption habits.
The Southwest, including Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, has some of the lowest personal consumption expenditures in the nation. Of this contingent, Oklahoma has the lowest expenditure of the bunch.
If you’re looking for an affordable state, Oklahoma might be the perfect place for you, as U.S. News & World Report’s Affordability Rankings actually ranked it the second-most-affordable state in the union. Thanks to its open plains and low population per square mile, Oklahoma does well on housing, grocery, and health care costs.
What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Oklahoma?
Data from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s 2022 Cost of Living Index helps compare expenses across major cities in Oklahoma. The three most affordable cities are below.
Muskogee has the lowest cost of living in Oklahoma. A city with a population of around 37,000, Muskogee is less than an hour’s drive southeast of Tulsa and sits on the banks of the Arkansas River. It has the lowest housing and health care costs in the state.
Oklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma. The city is equidistant between New York City and Los Angeles, and has the largest population in the state. It also has the third-largest land mass of any city in the country. This big city, dubbed “the Big Friendly,” has the second-lowest cost of living in Oklahoma and attracts all types; its population is around 688,000.
SoFi Home Loans
Oklahoma embraces the traditional cowboy mystique, true grit, and, yes, grits. That vibe and the low cost of living in Oklahoma beckon newcomers. If you’re an Okie in the making, you may need a mortgage.
Although there are many home loans on the market to choose from, SoFi offers a range of home loans at competitive interest rates and with as little as 5% down.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.
Terms and conditions apply. Not all products are offered in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or other eligible status and and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, evaluation of your creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income, and a variety of other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate, NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
✝︎ To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.